Children’s and Parents’ Responses to Media

Race and Representation: Black Parents’ Hopes for Their Children’s Media (McClain & Mares)

AnneMarie McClain and Marie-Louise Mares surveyed Black parents of 3- to 17-year-olds. This industry-facing report highlights Black parents’ perspectives with regard to fictional TV and film content for their children.

McClain & Mares (2020) Race & Representation Report

McClain & Mares (2020) Race & Representation Executive Summary

McClain & Mares (2020) Race & Representation Tipsheet


Young children’s socio-emotional learning through narratives: affordances of tablets (Peebles, Bonus, & Mares)

In partnership with The Fred Rogers Center, Alanna Peebles, James Alex Bonus, and Marie-Louise Mares looked at how different features of tablet apps help (or hinder) preschool-aged children’s learning from socio-emotional educational narratives.


Children’s reality judgments and learning from educational TV (Mares & Sivakumar)

Marie-Louise Mares and Gayathri Sivakumar published a paper in Developmental Psychology examining how 3- to 5-year-olds make judgments about the reality of fantasy and factual content in educational TV programming and how their judgments predict what they learn from viewing.

Effects of reality judgments on children’s bonus-sesame-1subsequent use of educational TV content (Bonus & Mares)

James Bonus and Marie-Louise Mares collaborated with Sesame Workshop to conduct an experiment examining how 3- to 5-year olds’ judgments about what is real and what’s pretend in a clip from Sesame Street predict their subsequent use of that information in a different context. This study is published in Communication Research.

Exposure to educational TV programming and children’s racial/ethnic attitudes (Mares, Sivakumar, & Stephenson)

Marie-Louise Mares, Gayathri Sivakumar, and Laura Stephenson have conducted three studies examining how children interpret the representations of ethnicity in programs such as Dora the Explorer and Ni Hao, Kai Lan.  Key questions include (1) relationships between self-selected exposure to such programs and attitudes toward ethnic out-groups  and (2) developmental changes in young viewers’ ability to make the connection between animated images and real world exemplars.  The paper has been published in a special issue of American Behavioral Scientist.


Interpreting Acts of Hostility and Aggression in Tween Sitcoms (Martins, Mares, Malacane, & Peebles)

Marie-Louise Mares and Alanna Peebles have collaborated with Nicole Martins and Mona Malacane at Indiana University to examine how 9-11 year-olds evaluate scenes of physical and social aggression in the popular tween sitcoms of iCarly and Victorious. The paper was published in 2016 in Communication Research.

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